Do we or don’t we have a free will and how do we know? Are we really free agents or just pawns in the hand of God or satan? Let’s look at what God has to say about this.
Some think our lives are predestined by God and we really have no choice – whatever will be will be! But does this line up with God’s Word?
Looking at Genesis 1:26 we see:
Genesis 1:26 (KJV) 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Here we see the dominion mandate that God gave mankind – to take dominion over the earth and subdue it. And as you know, they sold out to satan, who is the god of this world. This is free will at its best! God could have jumped right in and cancelled everything but if He did, the whole universe would have imploded because everything is held together by God’s Word. That’s why He couldn’t take things back because it would mean going back on His Word that He gave to Adam and Eve. God had already put out His Word and He never would go back on it because He’s righteousness personified!
Hebrews 1:3 (KJV) 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Psalm 119:89 (KJV) 89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Numbers 23:19 (KJV) 19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
What about Pharaoh? The Old Testament says that God hardened his heart but actually Pharaoh hardened his own heart [Ex. 8:15, 32]. And remember, God looks at the heart [I Sam. 16:7]. Pharaoh had a free will to do right but he chose to rebel against God. His heart was already in a bad way and God’s commands served to expose what was already there.
It’s like the sun shining on wax or clay. It melts the wax but hardens the clay. The sun is not the variable.
It’s the same with Judas. He chose to betray Jesus because his heart was evil.
Then we see Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. If Jesus didn’t have a free will, then His sacrifice was not really a sacrifice and He wouldn’t have prayed to His Father to take the cup from Him.
NEVERTHELESS! What an awesome word! Remember, Jesus always got His prayers answered and if He hadn’t prayed NEVERTHLESS, NOT MY WILL BUT THINE, He wouldn’t have gone to the Cross! Think about that! It’s awesome and scary at the same time!
Yes, we have a free will to choose right or wrong and unfortunately most people on planet earth are choosing the broad road that leads to destruction rather than the narrow road that leads to life. Throughout all eternity nobody will be able to say they didn’t have a choice. They’re without excuse!
How loving and gracious is God to give us a free will! Let’s use it to glorify and honor Him and be the example to the world that we’ve been called to be!
1 Samuel 16:7b (KJV) 7 … for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
Exodus 8:15 (KJV) 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
Exodus 8:32 (KJV) 32 And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.